Season one of America’s Next Top Model is a seriously amazing season and I feel like too many people haven’t seen it, or forgotten all of its glory.
Season 1 didn’t have a lot of budget, as you can see by the fact that the judges had to sit so close together it made them look like they were conjoined
It did however introduce us to the format of America’s Next Top Model. And by that I do not mean the system where aspiring models have to do a challenge and a photo shoot and one girl goes home at the end of the episode (well that too).
But what I mean with ‘format’ here is that it introduced us to the idea of a season full great characters that make for brilliant Reality TV – with minimal modeling potential.
You might have seen this image from Season 1 floating around the internet.
This didn’t actually happen but it is a brilliant indication of the absurdness of the show, so it might as well have had.
And while later seasons explored multiple themes and character arcs, there is a thread that runs through nearly all of season 1: religion. For instance, 18-year-old Shannon from Franklin in Ohio said this about the gays:
Clearly a very well spoken gal. This does at least show how much we’ve grown as a society, at least media wise. This was apparently totally fine in 2003 but is a little shocking in 2017, especially coming from a young person.
In other news I refuse to believe Shannon isn’t Sheryl Crow.
Anyway, back to religion, here are the girls of Season 1. They are engaged in a prayer circle.
Contestant Ebony was not having it.
More on this amazing girl in a later entry, by the way.
This prayer circle was lead by Robynne (seriously that’s how you spell her name). Robyynnne, was a partially plus-size 27-year old southern belle, and she claimed to have been miss Soy Bean.
I said ‘claimed’ because I didn’t really think that was an actual thing, but the Internet tells me it is. Here is a shot of the recent top 5:
You win by looking like you took a nap in a deep fryer apparently.
Robynne, (who side note: is now 41 years old) clearly felt more developed as a human being than these other rags and often bragged of her cultured, correct and courteous interaction with others.
As per the (now defunct) UPN website of 2003, this was her life motto:
“I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.”
And she needed Jesus when dealing with this show. Like when she had to deal with snakes:
And with atheists
This led to the ‘foolish man’ calling the bible ‘trite’ which I’m sure made Robynne clutch her pearls when she watched the show.
But Robynne didn’t just use her faith to provide her with strength or to strike down the unholy atheists. She also used it (as most religious people do), as a guide of morals and rules which to live by.
Of course one of the seven deadly sins is lust, and she experienced this sin on America’s Next Top Model first hand when on a Reebok shoot set with topless NFL player Clinton Portis. While he was stood behind her, according to Robynne…
Robynnne’s faith was so strong, Robynne’s (interperation of) the holy book seemed to override her aforementioned “courteous interaction with others”.
As Shannon already so bravely mentioned, being gay is wrong. Or, as Robynne would say about lesbian contestant Ebony
And yes, that is the actual quote.
So when someone you have been living with (Ebony the lesbian) brings along their significant other what do you do? Do you politely but courtly introduce yourself but stay out of their way because you disagree with “the lifestyle”?
You might think that, but no, not Robynne. Robynne decided to stay in her own room and fully ignored those cursed offensive lesbians while reading the bible…
this was a particularly boring passage apparently.
Despite her issues with the competition Robynne made it to that point of the season when the girls went overseas. And where better to take girls that are not in model shape (bar Elyse), that don’t look like models than fashion capital Paris?
Paris is a cutthroat modeling city in which the agency takes 90% of your paycheck (fun fact), and you have to be rail thin to fit the clothes.
When they went on their foreign go-sees, contestant Kesse got a little side tracked (perhaps realising she wouldn’t be able to book a job anyway) and went shopping.
Yes you read that right, she went shopping for cosmetics while she participated in a timed go see challenge.
But even if you don’t feel the need to shop for night cream, Paris can be quite hard to navigate through. Robynne got a local to help her find her way, solely by relying on her southern charm and grace:
Robynne felt quite at home in Paris because it is a hot spot for couture and according to Robyn it truly takes a lady to be able to wear couture,.
That night Robynne got a big break as they got to wear couture gowns and they were going out for a nice dinner and to a lovely ballet after with two French gentlemen. And moreover, they were being judged on the one thing she knew how to do: being a lady.
So do you want to be a lady? It’s really not that hard. Just follow these steps in ‘Robyyyynnne’s guide to being a lady’.
Step 1: Ignore your hosts and read the bible.
Step 2: Repeat step 1
In a shocking twist of fate, Robynne did NOT win this challenge. Pff, they just don’t know real class. She did mention that the gentlemen weren’t real socialites according to her. They were probably just lustin’ too.
It was clear Robynne could deal with lusters, both topless on set and fully dressed and in limousines, and she could also deal with the likes of Elyse. This is because Elyse was not looking for conflict and actively tried to stay out of Robynne’s way.
Unfortunately for Robynne she could not deal with something else. That something was this girl:
Adrienne wasn’t at all flustered by Robynne’s behaviour and comments that
And even implied she worshiped the devil.
Adrienne actively and purposefully tried to atagonise Robynne with making insanely crude comments that she knew Robynne would be shocked by. An example:
And this worked because Robynne was incredibly offended by this. And Adrienne did it even without being a lesbian!
But never mind Adrienne, Robynne was about to get stung by Tyra herself.
You see, while they were getting dressed for god knows what (pun intended), Robynne apparently turned to Jay Manuel, who at this point did not yet look like a plastic tangerine alien
And while topless, she shook her boobs at him. Now I’m not sure why Robynne did this, but I’m pretty sure it was meant jokingly and not to steer him away from loving (and let’s be real here, I mean LOVING) the D.
What Robynne didn’t realise was that Tyra was also on set (Tyra still gave a shit apparently). While on set she saw the shaking of the tits. Of course that week Robynne and Shannon refused to pose naked at the next photoshoot, which led to this inspirational quote:
“My grandma used to tell me:
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
So this stand right here that I’m taking,
might make me be eliminated.
But if my time here is up, then I’m okay with it.
I’m okay with that.”
So when Tyra confronted Robbbyneee at panel with the harlet-like behaviour of shaking thy tits, Robynne denied it ever happened. But it was too late, she was caught in her lie, it was her word against Tyra’s. How did her boobs move again Tyra?
And Robynne was sent home.
I want to end this entry with some lovely parting words from Adrienne, which Robynne would have just adored I’m sure, hit it Adrienne!